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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: May 26, 2014 7:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: STFU for once in your life.

I might take a page form AR , in that early on there cover choices were mostly well suited to them, they managed to have an original take , or at least be credible . I don't think any of Bob's covers of "Mama Tried' were better sung than Merle Haggard's , but it worked . It's later when their covers showed poor judgement, or not spending enough time to make them "their own" .
But, agin , since I love the band, I can still listen to their "Little Red Rooster" and kind of enjoy it (Jerry's solos ) ,...as long as I put Howling Wolf out my mind ...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: May 27, 2014 6:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re:Covers

OK. my name is mentioned, so naturally I have to chime in ... :-)

Part of the whole early vs late cover issue for me is that earlier covers tended to bring people TO other artists while later covers tended to be FROM others.

I don't think I'd have listened to Haggard if I hadn't heard Mama Tried. But I'm pretty sure there weren't a lot of heads who suddenly decided to check out the Beatles because of the Dead covers. It was "whoa, they're doing Day Tripper!" not "wait, that isn't their original? Who did it?"

They always had a bit of the Famous Covers, and what the heck, they can do what they want and it's fun at the moment, but it really is tougher to make a Famous Cover your own. And mostly they didn't. Even with the Dylan covers, I always hear Dylan's voice. It's harder work to make a Famous Cover your own IMO, and in the later years, they weren't working very hard at that ... although I guess, ya know, they got a good reason for taking the easy way out ...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: May 27, 2014 8:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Re:Covers

There is a lot of great music I discovered through the Dead . You point to the lack of originality in their latter choices . I think their latter day blues choices were often not very challenging . All you had to do was dig a little deeper into , say , a Muddy Waters comp., to do a lesser known song, and it still would be great .
I think a good test is, "what would a NON Deadhead think" . Unless they are totally biased against the band, or a super purest, I think most of those earlier covers would at least get the "it's ok" nod . I remember a Head friend of mine telling another music friend of that the Dead were covering "The Lat Time", ...silence and a look that said "LAME" all over it . And my Deadhead friend sheepishly "...well they sort of do it in their own sort of way" . But it was LAME, they just didn't come up with a version that would work . I would be embarrassed to play it for someone else . Just because you like it, doesn't mean you can play it .
Their Dylan covers generally faired better , but "Heaven's Door" , and "Watchtower" , are hardly original choices . I though when they covered slightly less well know Dylan songs for example, "Memphis Blues Again" it worked . I would have been nice if they would have done some later Dylan, I know they talked about it . Jerry covered more 70's Dylan with his band, (big kudos for "Señor"), and it would have been cool if they snagged something form, say "Infidels" or "Oh Mercy" (Kudos for Weir for covering "Most of the Time" ) .
A special mention, always need be made for some of those late Vince(God rest him, poor Vince ) covers . If you cover "Tomorrow Never Knows" you had better bring something to the table . What we get is a bad bar bad version . Hubris . And "Baba O'Reily" , as fine as the song is, is standard AOR fodder . If Jerry had lived would we be treated to "Free-bird", or "Stairway to Heaven" ?...

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: May 26, 2014 12:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: STFU for once in your life.

DD,the topic of their cover choices is very complicated due to the varied issues it raises.Which artists are covered,artists not covered,how many times the cover song was played,different era's,genre choice,how many shows and songs the band played over their career,etcetera.

I take issue more with what they didn't do and how repetitive they were with what they chose.How well they performed their choices and who they chose to cover wasn't so much the issue.